Königsberg (Prussia)

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Castle pond (1912)
Königsberg Old Towns (1255)
Königsberg northeast of the Frischen Haff on a map from 1910
City map of Königsberg 1905

Königsberg has been the royal capital and residence of Prussia since 1724 . Until 1936 the city was officially called Königsberg i. Pr., Then Königsberg (Pr).

The city is located in the southeast of the Samland peninsula in the Pregel lowlands . Until 1945, as the capital of the Prussian province of East Prussia, it was its cultural and economic center. When the empire was founded in 1871, it became the most north-eastern city ​​in the German Empire . In April 1945 the city, largely destroyed by two devastating British air raids in 1944, fell into the hands of the Red Army after heavy fighting . The Potsdam Agreement made East Prussia with the other German areas east of the Oder-Neisse lineeffectively separated from Germany. Northern East Prussia with the provincial capital Königsberg came under Soviet administration and became a restricted military area. The civilian population remaining in Königsberg after the end of the war , which had survived the early days of the Soviet occupation, was deported to the Soviet occupation zone until 1948 . The former German city, which has been called Kaliningrad since 1946 , was, like all of northern East Prussia, repopulated in the post-war period with people from various parts of the Soviet Union . Today the Kaliningrad Oblast with the capital Kaliningrad is an exclave of Russia , which borders Poland in the south and Lithuania in the north and east .


Königsberg / Kaliningrad lies on the same geographical latitude as Cape Arkona , the sluice mouth , Belfast , Vilnius , Smolensk and Lake Baikal . The city ​​shares its geographical longitude with Olsztyn (Allenstein), Belgrade , the eastern Åland Islands and the western edge of the Barents Island . It is located on both banks of the Pregel , north of the old Pregel in Samland , south in Natangen . The city has seven hills: Löbenichtscher Kirchenberg, Schiefer Berg, Mühlenberg, Schlossberg, Rollberg, Bauernberg and Butterberg; outside the three old cities are the Haberberg and the Veilchenberg . Height above sea level : Kneiphof 2.5 m, Schlossberg 13 m, Haberberg 9.5 m; highest point on Oberteich with 22.5 m. Distances (as the crow flies): Berlin 583 km, Danzig 148 km, Sowetsk (Kaliningrad) (Tilsit) 98 km, Chernyachowsk (Insterburg) 85 km.

Urban area

In 1595 the distance from the outer Sackheimischer Krug to the end of the wet garden was 4.6 km. In 1755 the city had 76 hostels, 16 poor and orphanages, 20 churches, 16 Latin schools, 5 baths, 3 slaughterhouses, 1,370 wells and 17 clocks. In 1804, according to Ludwig von Baczko, there were 7 first class inns and 12 second class inns and 65 “ordinary” jugs in the city. In 1864 the urban area comprised 2063 hectares. As a result of the first incorporations (1905), Königsberg grew by 2033 hectares to 4434.9 hectares. Together, the city and the district of Königsberg i. Pr. 1910 the Galtgarben . In 1927 the city grew by further incorporations by 4,019 ha to 8,454 hectares. In 1932 the property amounted to 9,790.9 hectares. The last incorporations took place in 1939.


City foundation and Teutonic Order

The oldest seals of the three sub-towns of Königsberg: Old Town (1360), Löbenicht (1413), Kneiphof (1383)

According to the accounts of Wulfstan von Haithabu , who traveled to Truso around 900 , there were numerous castles in the land of the West Baltic Prussians , each of which was under a kynig and formed the core of a settlement cell in the vicinity. Such Wallenburg named Twangste was at the mouth of the Pregel before flowing into the Vistula Lagoon . A village and a harbor square belonged to it, which was frequented by the Vikings and Lübeck merchants. When the Teutonic Order began to conquer Prussia in 1230, the people of Lübeck planned to found a daughter city, but did not manage to implement it in time. In 1255 the Teutonic Order reached the Pregel estuary under Poppo von Osterna . He built an order castle on the site of the castle ramparts .

The old town was laid out in 1256 in the area of ​​the later Steindamm and rebuilt in the valley below the Schlossberg after being destroyed by the Prussians during the Great Prussian Uprising in 1263. It received city rights in 1286 from Landmeister Konrad the Elder. J. von Thierberg and became a member of the Hanseatic League in 1340 . After the order marshal resided in Königsberg from 1330 , after the loss of the Marienburg in 1457 its castle became the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

In the high and late Middle Ages , the name “Königsberg” was mostly understood to mean the Ordensburg, although the name was increasingly being transferred to the surrounding communities .

In 1283, the city named in honor of Ottokar II Přemysl Königsberg was founded , and in 1286 it received the Kulm law . In the immediate vicinity of the old town, Löbenicht was founded in 1300 and Kneiphof in 1327 , but they were only united by a royal decision in 1724. The Königsberg Castle , the royal liberties , the castle freedom, the Tragheim , the front and rear large gardens and the Neue Sorge remained outside. The official title was now the Royal Prussian capital and residence city of Königsberg . The castle and the royal freedoms were only incorporated with the Prussian town order . Each settlement originally had its own administration, fortifications, a market and a church. The residents were predominantly Germans settled by the order. This particular form of administration remained unchanged until the municipalities merged.

The Kneiphofinsel had been a clerical district since 1322, where the Königsberg Cathedral was built between 1330 and 1380 . The castle, the seat of the order marshal since 1330 , became a central gathering point for noblemen traveling to Lithuania in the 14th century . Königsberg thus formed one of the bases of the Teutonic Order's Lithuanian Wars . In 1370, an advance by Lithuanian armies aiming at Königsberg was averted by municipal contingents and the armed forces of the Teutonic Order in the battle of Rudau .

When the Prussian estates revolted against the rule of the order in the middle of the 15th century, founded the Prussian Confederation and submitted to the Polish crown with the guarantee of generous privileges, the three cities in the vicinity of Königsberg Castle were initially involved. The craftsmen of the old town and Löbenicht defended themselves against this, despite having already paid homage. In heavy battles they were able to bring down the suburb of Kneiphof, which was supported by Danzig, together with the free people of the Samland and the Order. In 1456, Königsberg again acknowledged the order and enabled him to maintain his position of power in Samland.

After the Thirteen Years War , Prussia was divided in 1466 in the Second Peace of Thorn . Königsberg remained with the part of Prussia administered by the Teutonic Order. After the loss of Marienburg in 1457, the castle became the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. When Grand Master Ludwig von Erlichshausen moved into Königsberg Castle , the domicile of the order and thus the entire settlement had been the center of the state since 1457.

Capital of the Duchy of Prussia

In 1525 the Grand Master Albrecht von Hohenzollern , Prince of Ansbach , introduced the Reformation . In the Treaty of Krakow, he converted the rest of the order state into the secular Duchy of Prussia under Polish suzerainty . Since the duchy only extended to the eastern part of Prussia, he and his successors carried the title "Duke in Prussia" and not "Duke of Prussia".

In 1544 Duke Albrecht founded the second Protestant university in Europe after Marburg, the Albertus University . He also made an outstanding contribution to astronomy , the Prussian Tables of Erasmus Reinhold were partially financed by the Duke, and Königsberg became their reference point by being chosen as the prime meridian . They contributed significantly to the dissemination of the teaching of Nicolaus Copernicus, who died in 1543 . He had worked as a canon in the Prince - Diocese of Warmia , which was under the Polish Crown, but was almost completely surrounded by the Duchy of Prussia.

The rector of the grammar school in Elbing , Willem van de Voldersgraft , came to Albertus University and was at the same time a councilor to the duke. The Prussian historian Christoph Hartknoch described the life of the councilor and rector in his Vita Guilielmi Gnaphei .

The second Duke, Albrecht Friedrich , suffered from depression and was represented by administrators for this reason. When he died in 1618 without male heirs, Elector Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg became Duke of Prussia by succession .

Like their predecessors, the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order since the Second Peace of Thor in 1466, the dukes had to recognize the Polish suzerainty over the duchy. Through clever politics, Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg , later referred to as the “Great Elector”, succeeded in gaining full sovereignty of the Duchy of Prussia (Treaties of Labiau 1656, Wehlau and Bromberg 1657 and Oliva 1660). This included Königsberg, which at that time still consisted of the three independent sub-towns of Altstadt , Kneiphof and Löbenicht .

The Königsberg estates resisted the Elector's absolutist aspirations and, like the Prussian Federation two hundred years earlier, tried to get support from Poland. The elector struck down this Königsberg uprising with military means and was able to enforce his claim to power and the collection of taxes to finance his standing army .

After the Edict of Potsdam (1685), 350 Huguenots settled in Königsberg. They mainly settled in Burggasse, which later became the French street. From 1733 they built the French Reformed Church (Königsberg) .

Provincial capital in the Prussian state

King's coronation by Friedrich III.

In 1701 the duchy was crowned King Frederick III. raised to the kingdom. The Brandenburg Elector Friedrich III. crowned himself on January 18 in the Königsberg Castle Church as Frederick I king in Prussia, as there was still the Prussian Royal Share belonging to the Kingdom of Poland , which, like the Kingdom of Prussia, was not part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation . With the acquisition of the title of king, the name “Prussia” gradually became established for all “Royal Prussian States” ruled by the King in Prussia within and outside the borders of the empire, so that after 1701 Prussia emerged in the sense of the entire Prussian state. "Prussia" thus emerged politically from the Hohenzollern Brandenburg, but owes its name to the eastern Prussia around Königsberg.

From 1708 to 1710, East Prussia suffered major population losses due to the Great Plague (Prussia) . These were largely compensated for under the “soldier king” Friedrich Wilhelm I in the rétablissement (East Prussia) , including with exiles from Salzburg . In the wars of Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1763, East Prussia with Königsberg was repeatedly a theater of war and from 1758 to 1763 was occupied by Russian troops and administered by Nikolaus Friedrich von Korff as governor general.

In 1724, on June 13th, the three cities of Altstadt, Kneiphof and Löbenicht were united to form the city of Königsberg. In the same year, the city's most famous son, the philosopher Immanuel Kant, was born in Königsberg . Kant never left his hometown permanently in his life. Through him the Königsberg University became a center of philosophy. In 1730 Johann Georg Hamann was born in Königsberg . He was a philosopher and writer.

When Frederick II took part in the first partition of Poland in 1772, Pomerania came under the rule of the Hohenzollern as West Prussia . From then on Friedrich dubbed himself “King of Prussia” instead of, like his father and grandfather, “King in Prussia”. Since then, a distinction has been made between the provinces of West Prussia and East Prussia. The capital of the latter was Königsberg. Around 1800 Königsberg was one of the largest German cities with around 60,000 inhabitants (for comparison: Berlin around 170,000, Cologne and Frankfurt a. M. each around 50,000, Munich around 30,000).

In July 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte lived in the castle. In the coalition wars , Königsberg was an important arena: Initially, the area around Königsberg became an area of ​​refuge and retreat for the Prussian army defeated in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt . In June 1807 , French troops set fire to the city for four days; the citizens had to raise a contribution of 20 million francs . After the French withdrew, the reorganization and restructuring of the Prussian state began in Königsberg. The Prussian reforms were discussed and decided in the Luisenhaus .

Entry of the Russians in Koenigsberg on January 5th, 1813

Immediately after the defeat of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the Russian campaign in 1812 and after the signing of the Tauroggen Convention , General Yorck von Wartenburg rode into the city. The organized liberation movement against Napoleon began again in Königsberg, when Yorck demanded the establishment of the East Prussian Landwehr in the House of the East Prussian Countryside .

As part of the district reform in the Koenigsberg administrative district on February 1, 1818, the Koenigsberg district was set up, which, in addition to the actual city of Koenigsberg, initially also included the surrounding rural areas that belonged to the Koenigsberg parishes . In May 1828, the surrounding rural towns were reclassified from the urban district to the Königsberg district . Since then, the urban district has only included the actual city of Königsberg, consisting of the old town , the Löbenicht and the Kneiphof .

In April 1829 the Pregel overflowed its banks, and there was also a great flood in Königsberg. In the same year the two provinces of East and West Prussia were united as the Province of Prussia with the capital Königsberg. After the province was divided again in 1878, the city was again only the provincial capital of East Prussia.

View of Königsberg around 1850

In 1848 the shipowners based in Königsberg had 38 merchant ships. In November 1852 Königsberg received gas lighting .

Königsberg was the intellectual center of Prussia for centuries . With the completion of the Prussian Eastern Railway in 1860, its provincialization through Berlin began . The Eastern Railway ended in Eydtkuhnen and connected Königsberg and East Prussia with Berlin. Königsberg became a hub in north-eastern European traffic. Wilhelm I was crowned on October 18, 1861 in the castle church . The crown casings specially made for the ceremony have been missing since the Second World War .

In contrast to the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation founded in 1815 , the German Customs Union founded in 1834 and the North German Confederation founded in 1867 also included East Prussia. From 1871 it belonged to the German Empire . As a result, Königsberg experienced an economic boom.

At the turn of 1918/19 there were 16,000 unemployed and 70,000 soldiers in the city. The Peace Treaty of Versailles separated East Prussia (with eastern parts of West Prussia ) from the main part of the German Empire through the Polish Corridor , which exacerbated the already great economic problems of the agrarian region. Until the end of the Second World War, Königsberg was Germany's easternmost city.

Self help

The most difficult problem for the provincial administration of East Prussia , the government in Königsberg and the city administration was the island situation of East Prussia in the interwar period . In order to advance the development as far as possible, Hans Lohmeyer and Carl Friedrich Goerdeler developed the so-called Königsberg system.

The city's infrastructure was improved in a targeted manner : the fortifications were razed and converted into a green belt with numerous parks, which eventually covered 602 hectares. The surrounding places were incorporated and the East Prussian Sea Service was launched. In 1919, Devau Airport, designed by Hanns Hopp , was the first civil airport in Germany to go into operation. Train traffic was improved: in 1926 the new Reichsbahnbrücke was opened to traffic. In 1929 the new main station was opened on the southern outskirts and in 1930 the north station on Hansaplatz. The harbor basin was enlarged, the access channel deepened and the largest silo on the continent built. Icebreakers now ensured that the port was always accessible even in winter. Inventory management was also specifically promoted. In 1920, President Friedrich Ebert opened the first German East Fair , which was held regularly until 1941. The House of Technology was built on the exhibition grounds . In 1930, in addition to many other investments in the accommodation and catering sector, the Parkhotel was built by Hanns Hopp on the Königsberg castle pond for the business people streaming into Königsberg . As part of the Ostmesse, Ostmarken Rundfunk AG was founded, the majority of which was also taken over by the city. In 1932 it was housed in the "New Funkhaus" built by Hanns Hopp on Hansaplatz. Through targeted state and municipal funding, Königsberg achieved a dynamic that remained unique among the cities of the German Empire.

Help from the realm

In the Weimar Republic, Königsberg received special sympathy and support from the Reich. Celebrity visits, sporting events, flight days, naval visits, music festivals, conferences and congresses replaced each other.

time of the nationalsocialism

Document from Koenigsberg Fortress, February 1945

During the Nazi era , Königsberg was the official residence of Gauleiter Erich Koch . The Fort Quednau was from March to June 1933 as a temporary prison for opponents of the Nazi Party used. Almost 400 functionaries of the SPD and KPD in the Koenigsberg area were arrested. The grenadier barracks on Cranzer Allee were greatly expanded in the rear area. As part of the war preparations, an extensive defensive structure was created, including the Lasch bunker .

Open hostility to Jews , boycotts of Jews and terror oppressed the 3200 Jews of Königsberg. Arson attacks were carried out on the Old Synagogue and on Jewish shops. Max Neumann, the owner of the “Passage” cinema, was so badly mistreated by SA men that he succumbed to his injuries. During the Reichspogromnacht the old synagogue and the new synagogue were set on fire, the Israelite orphanage was destroyed and the residents of the Jewish old people's home were evicted. On June 24, 1942 465 Konigsberg Jews were to Maly Trostenez deported and murdered three days later.

When the German-Soviet war began, on June 23, 1941, there were several bombing raids on Königsberg by the air forces of the Soviet Union . With the loss of their airfields due to the rapid advance of the Wehrmacht , they soon came to a standstill. In the years that followed, Königsberg was spared direct aerial warfare for a long time due to its peripheral location in the northeast of the German Empire .

Wehrmacht officers captured at Königstor, April 12, 1945

On the nights of 26./27. and 29./30. August 1944, the Royal Air Force carried out massive air raids on Koenigsberg . In violation of his neutrality, they had flown over Sweden . In particular, the 480 tons of phosphorous- filled stick incendiary bombs and high-explosive bombs dropped on the second night destroyed the Königsberg Cathedral , the Königsberg Castle , all the churches in the city center, the old and the new university and the old storage district. Large parts of Königsberg burned for days. The city center - old town, Löbenicht and Kneiphof - was almost completely destroyed. About 200,000 Koenigsbergers were made homeless and about 5000 lost their lives.

The city, enclosed by the Red Army at the end of January 1945 , was declared a fortress and people were not allowed to flee. Under General Otto Lasch , the Wehrmacht , Waffen-SS and Volkssturm defended the city until the surrender to the 3rd Belarusian Front on April 9, 1945. At this point, the first Soviet units were already on the parade ground , under which Lasch's command post was located. The bitter street and house war had resulted in heavy losses on both sides and further destroyed the city. The remaining civilian population was also badly affected. The battle for Königsberg was marked by numerous atrocities such as rape and war crimes by Soviet soldiers. The surviving orphans escaped to Lithuania as wolf children , were adopted by Russian families or, if they could still be found, were sent to Russian children's homes. In January / February 1945, the SS murdered between 5000 and 7500 mostly Jewish prisoners (from Königsberg camps and evacuated satellite camps of the Stutthof concentration camp ) on a death march from Königsberg to Palmnicken. Many victims were rescued by Soviet troops months later. Königsberg is often mentioned as the last verifiable repository of the Amber Room , which has been missing since 1945 .

Soviet Union

From May 1945 bread was distributed, 400 g and containing water, irregularly and only to adults who were able to work. Old people, children and those unable to work lived on rye grains and grasses . The hot summer brought a plague of flies , rats and mice . The water supply was scarce; most of the few wells were polluted. The sewer system was destroyed. The electricity supply did not start in sub-districts until 1946.

Of the 150,000 remaining residents in April 1945, most died of hunger, disease and attacks by the Red Army . In December 1945 around 20,000 Germans were still living in the city. In October 1947 Josef Stalin ordered her deportation, which took place in 1948 to the Soviet occupation zone (later GDR ). The East Prussian Diary is a literary memory of those years . A doctor's notes from 1945–1947 for Count Lehndorff . Soviet documents from that time in Koenigsberg were published in 1994.

Traditionally called Кёнигсберг (Kjonigsberg) (jo = ö) in Russian , the city was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 . All other localities in northern, now Russian East Prussia were also given different names. Kaliningrad residents, who celebrated the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad in 2005 , have major identity problems and are increasingly grappling with the history of Königsberg before 1945.

At the Potsdam Conference the victorious powers had decided to place northern East Prussia under the administration of the Soviet Union. The USSR annexed this area on October 17, 1945, annexed it to the Russian Soviet Republic on April 7, 1946 and made Koenigsberg the administrative seat of the newly founded Kjonigsbergskaja Oblast (Eng. "Koenigsberg Oblast "; after the city was renamed in July 1946 Kaliningradskaja Oblast , " Kaliningrad Oblast "). On July 4, 1946, a good month after the death of the formal head of state of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Kalinin , Koenigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in his honor by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR . The renaming campaign for the other cities and towns in the Königsberg area did not begin until autumn 1947 and dragged on until the summer of 1950.

According to a census in August 1945, there were still around 110,000 German civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, in the city. These were held by the Soviet occupying forces to be used as slave labor . In October 1947, the previous travel ban was lifted and the German population still remaining in Kaliningrad and the surrounding area began to be transported west. Of the previously 110,000 people, only about 15,000 were still alive. The remaining 95,000 had fallen victim to epidemics, famine and attacks, so that after the mass exodus from East Prussia and the gradual evacuation in 1947, the Germans were almost completely expelled from Königsberg in 1948 .

Only a few Königsbergers stayed in the city. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the opening of the Kaliningrad region (oblast) was it possible for this remaining German minority to reveal their ethnic identity. Her fate was a media event in Russian and German magazines in the mid-1990s . The majority of Germans (0.6% according to the last census) in the city of Kaliningrad, however, are immigrants from other regions of the former Soviet Union or their descendants. A Russian architect wants to build the city center of Königsberg exactly as it was before the destruction.

name of the city

The official name was Königsberg i. Pr. , Then Königsberg (Pr) . From 1945 to 1946 it had the Russified name Кёнигсберг ("Kjonigsberg"). Due to the multicultural community of this region, the city has had other local names. In Low Prussian , the local dialect of the Low German language , the name Königsbarg ( / ˈkʰeˑnɪçsba͡ɐç / ) is common. The Lithuanian name is Karaliaučius (literally royal city ), the Polish Królewiec , the Czech Královec . The Latinized form of the name is a translation into the Latin language : Regiomontium Prussorum . Since 1946 the city has officially been named Kaliningrad , in Cyrillic form Калининград , after the Soviet politician Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin, who died in the same year .

The traditional Polish name Królewiec is alive in the name of the Wisła Królewiecka (also in German Königsberger Weichsel ) in the name of the Wisła Królewiecka in Poland or in the historical names of traditional traffic arteries as (ulica) Królewiecka (German Königsberger Straße ) in today's Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship .

Because of Kalinin's responsibility for the Katyn massacre , there has been a heated debate for some time about renaming the city and the area in Königsberg, with Russian politicians increasingly declaring that they want to give the city back the old German name.

The name of the original Prussian fortress in the area of ​​the later Königsberg city center was Twangste until the conquest by the Germans .

coat of arms

City arms

The historical city arms of Königsberg shows the three coats of arms of the formerly independent cities Altstadt , Löbenicht and Kneiphof united under the Prussian eagle. It was donated as a seal by Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1724 to unite the cities and in 1906 was declared the city's coat of arms by the magistrate. The eagle bears the initials FRW (Friedrich Wilhelm Rex) on the chest, above the ducal crown and on the head the royal crown of Prussia.

In the middle is the coat of arms of the old town: a red crown in silver above, a silver cross in a red field below; left (the coat of arms can be read from the bearer's point of view) the coat of arms of the former city of Löbenicht, a crown between two stars; on the right that of the former town of Kneiphof: in green a hand with a golden crown rising from waves, accompanied on each side by a golden horn turned away .


As the provincial capital of the province of East Prussia , Königsberg was the official seat of the Upper President , the District President in the Königsberg administrative district and the Königsberg district. The most important offices were Oberpostdirektion , Postscheckamt , Reichsbahndirektion Königsberg , Eichamt, Landesfinanzamt, Hauptzollamt, Police Headquarters, Higher Regional Court Königsberg (with district and regional court), and East Prussian Government (judicial authority) .

Important public buildings were Ostpreußische General Directorate landscape , Prussian State Archive Königsberg , Otto Braun -House, Ostpreußische Land Company , Königsberg City Archive , City History Museum and Königsberg Public Library .

Until November 1918, the administration was incumbent on the magistrate of the royal capital and residence city of Königsberg in Prussia , then the magistrate . The Lord Mayor was chairman of the magistrate's college. Important resolutions were passed in agreement between the city ​​council and the city ​​council . As a result of a new municipal code , the administration was no longer led by a magistrate, but by the mayor from 1934. Main and honorary Councilor met the previous council members. Instead of the elected city council was councilors appointed that no longer decided but were only consulted. As before, they had to carry out self-administration tasks and government agency matters.

The numerous offices included the registry office, the education office for high, middle, elementary, secondary, vocational and technical schools, the cultural office with the city libraries, the city archive, the city art collections, the city history museum and the city theaters , the town hall, the sports department, the welfare office, the health department with welfare workers, the municipal hospital, the municipal cemetery and the zoo (under municipal administration since 1933), the garden department, the slaughterhouse and cattle yard, the fire department and the city tax office.

In the building and property sector, there were offices for building construction, road construction, hydraulic engineering and bridges, building police, town planning, surveying, property transport and administration, housing and settlement. The central offices had been housed in the town hall on Hansaring since 1927. In the Second World War , the Food and Economic Office and the Department for Family Maintenance were added with their branch offices in the city districts.

The districts outside of the walled wall emerged after 1905. In some newly incorporated districts (the last from 1939) district administrative offices were set up.

See also: Category: District of Königsberg (Prussia)

1464–1465 Georg Steinhaupt (old town)
around 1704 Carl Drost vom Fisch (Kneiphof)
? –1710 Michael Kongehl (Kneiphof)
≈1710–1724 Christoph Aegidius von Negelein (Königsberg)
1780–1796 Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel the Elder (Königsberg)
1796–1809 Bernhard Gervais
Lord Mayor

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Fortress garrison

Up until the 20th century, Königsberg was the largest and most heavily fortified garrison in Prussia. In 1360 the Teutonic Knight Henning Schindekopf was appointed Order Marshal by the Teutonic Order with an official seat in Königsberg. There he coordinated the Lithuanian Wars of the Teutonic Order against the still pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania ( Battle of Rudau 1370). Königsberg was only conquered in the Seven Years' War and World War II . The Lord Mayors Siegfried Körte and Hans Lohmeyer had the 605 hectare ramparts converted into green spaces.

In the German Empire , the Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Army and the following units were stationed in Königsberg:

Staff of the 1st Infantry Brigade

Staff of the 2nd Infantry Brigade

Staff of the 1st Cavalry Brigade

Staff of the 1st Field Artillery Brigade

  • 1st East Prussian Field Artillery Regiment No. 16
  • 2nd East Prussian Field Artillery Regiment No. 52
  • Fortress Machine Gun Division No. 1
  • Foot artillery regiment "von Linger" (East Prussian) No. 1
  • Command of the pioneers of the 1st Army Corps
  • Pioneer battalion "Fürst Radziwill" (East Prussian) No. 1
  • Samland Pioneer Battalion No. 18
  • Fortress Telephone Company No. 5
  • Airship battalion No. 5 (provisional) in Liegnitz, Allenstein and Posen
  • East Prussian Train Department No. 1
  • Landwehr inspection in Insterburg with 6 district commands

The troop flags and death shields of the regiments hung on the altar of the castle church .

Even after the disarmament enforced in the Treaty of Versailles , Königsberg remained a fortress and the largest garrison in the empire. Higher staff departments of the Reichswehr were the military district command I , the 1st division , the artillery leader 1 and the fortress command. The troops were two battalions of Infantry Regiment 1 , a section of Artillery Regiment 1, Engineer Battalion 1, Communication Department 1, Motor Vehicle Department 1, Driving Department 1 and Medical Department 1.

This strength was expanded in the German Reich from 1933 to 1945 . Königsberg was one of the last East Prussian cities to be conquered by the Red Army (until April 9, 1945; then only Fischhausen followed on April 16 and Pillau on April 25).


In parallel with the political and economic development, the population of Königsberg has increased continuously. Around 1400 about 10,000 people lived in the city. In two major plague epidemics in 1601/1602 and 1709 to 1711, a quarter of the residents each died. In 1813, Königsberg was one of the largest cities in the German-speaking area with 50,000 inhabitants and had more inhabitants than Frankfurt am Main , Stuttgart or Munich . In the period that followed, however, the city's growth lagged behind the growth of central and west German industrial cities, in particular due to the east-west migration in the wake of industrialization . In 1864, Königsberg crossed the 100,000-inhabitant limit and thus became a city according to today's definition. Due to numerous incorporations, the population rose to 246,000 by 1910. After the First World War , growth was hampered by the unfavorable island location due to the newly created Polish corridor , but by 1933 the population rose to 316,000 due to numerous incorporations. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, 372,000 people lived in Königsberg.

In 1722 an Anabaptist Mennonite congregation was founded, although there were Mennonites in Königsberg again and again in the 16th century. The Jewish community in Königsberg existed until 1948.

In 1925 were of the 279,930 inhabitants of Konigsberg 91.7% Protestant , 4.8% Catholic and 1.5% Jewish denomination . 2% of the population had a different or no denomination.

Annual population
year population Remarks
1768 47,939 in December, without active military personnel, but with their family members
1780 53,681 in 4308 houses, with the garrison 60,000 inhabitants
1781 54,368 including 719 hospitals
1798 51,720 without active military personnel, but with their family members
1801 54,673 without active military personnel, but with their family members
1804 50,422 at the end of the year, excluding military personnel and their family members
1805 49,866 excluding military personnel and their relatives
1816 61.084
1828 67,941 at the end of the year, including the military
1846 70,378 excluding the military, including 66,361 Evangelicals, 2103 Catholics, 133 Mennonites , and 1,781 Jews
1858 81,794 excluding the military, of which 77,385 Evangelicals, 1603 Catholics, 80 Mennonites , 2401 Jews
1867 106,236 98,844 of them Protestants, 3502 Catholics, 401 German Catholics , 3178 Jews
1871 112.123
1875 122,636
1880 140.909
1885 151.151
1890 161,666 thereof 149,641 Evangelicals, 6978 Catholics, 4008 Jews
1900 189,483 with the garrison (a grenadier regiment No. 1, a grenade battalion No. 3, two battalions of infantry No. 43, a cuirassier regiment No. 3, two regiments of field artillery No. 16 and 52, a foot artillery regiment No. 1, two engineer battalions No. 1 and 18, a train battalion No. 1), of which 8,465 Catholics and 3,975 Jews; according to other sources of which 174,874 Evangelicals, 8448 Catholics
1910 245.994 including 225,478 Evangelicals, 11,794 Catholics
1925 279,926 of which 256,739 Protestants, 13,300 Catholics, 723 other Christians, 4049 Jews
1933 315.794 thereof 288,413 Evangelicals, 16,280 Catholics, 68 other Christians, 3170 Jews
1939 360.577 thereof 318,125 Evangelicals, 21,419 Catholics, 3456 other Christians, 1566 Jews


Round trip of the Reichsender Königsberg

Königsberger newspapers were the Königsberger Allgemeine Zeitung , the Hartungsche Zeitung (1640), the Ostpreußische Zeitung (1848), the Königsberger Tageblatt (1897), the Königsberger Volkszeitung (1901), the Königsbergische Avisen, the Königsberger Express and the Echo des Ostens .

Ha-Meassef , the first secular journal in the Hebrew language , was published in Königsberg from 1783 to 1785.

On January 2, 1924, Ostmarken Rundfunk AG (ORAG) was founded in a small barrack on the exhibition grounds . The city of Königsberg as a co-owner was the only German city that operated its own radio station. In 1933 the ORAG went on in the Reichsender Königsberg . The last broadcast was broadcast on April 7, 1945.



Corinth Hall

The most important museum in Königsberg was the East Prussian Provincial Museum in Königsberg Castle . There the famous Prussia collection was shown in the Prussia Museum . It was a rich collection on regional and folklore as well as on the history and prehistory of the country. The Muscovite Hall was used to depict war and military history. In the Königsberg art collections, housed in Königsberg Castle until 1945, works by Lucas van Leyden , Michael Willmann with Saint Barbara , Anton Möller , the Prussian ›Pieter Brueghel‹, with three works ( young woman, knee picture from 1608, patrician dance in Danzig and Portrait of a Young Woman ). A separate department (Lovis Corinth Hall) with sixteen paintings was dedicated to the painter Lovis Corinth . In the Amber Museum cups, boxes and artworks made of amber were issued.

Opera and drama

The first city ​​theater in Königsberg was later converted into an opera house. The opera house helped the Carmen (opera) achieve a breakthrough with its German premiere on October 26, 1876, in contrast to the premiere in Paris, where it failed. The opera house, under the direction of Hans Schüler, was also Germany's avant-garde opera from 1928 to 1932: Igor Fjodorowitsch Stravinsky , Paul Hindemith and Ferruccio Busoni were on the program. The opera composers Otto Nicolai and Hermann Goetz and composers such as Herbert Brust , Erich Börschel , Fritz Ihlau and conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler , Hans Knappertsbusch , Karl Böhm and Hermann Abendroth worked there . The city had two good orchestras, the municipal orchestra Königsberg and the large orchestra of the Reichsender Königsberg , which was built by Hermann Scherchen .

With the construction of the New Playhouse, this division was also given its own theater. In the Neues Schauspielhaus one saw artists such as Agnes Straub , Emil Jannings and Paul Wegener under the direction of artistic director Leopold Jessner . It developed into one of the most modern theaters in Germany. The last director was Herbert Wahlen .

Visual artists and writers in Königsberg

The work of many visual artists is associated with Königsberg, such as Lovis Corinth , Käthe Kollwitz , Hermann Brachert , Fritz Burmann , but also that of many writers such as Simon Dach , Johann Gottfried Herder , ETA Hoffmann , Heinrich von Kleist , Ernst Wiechert , Agnes Miegel . The city had an art and trade school as well as an art academy . During the Third Reich, many artists stayed in Königsberg in order to create in the German-speaking Memel region independent of state censorship and control. This was also a factor in the development of the Nidden artists' colony .



Königsberg had the famous Kant monument erected for 7,300 thalers to the great philosopher Immanuel Kant , which was created by the Berlin sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch . The statue was lost in the post-war chaos. The Soviet Union temporarily occupied the orphaned base with a bust of the communist leader Ernst Thälmann . In the early 1990s, Marion Countess Dönhoff suggested the erection of a new cast of the Immanuel Kant statue. It was created by Hermann Noack based on templates from the Berlin plaster molding shop and, after the restoration of the old base, was erected on June 27, 1992 on the right in front of the University in Kaliningrad . Originally, the monument stood on the left in front of the university on the site of the Lasch bunker . The replica of the Herzog Albrecht monument was also famous .

Houses of worship

The Steindammer Church , the Polish Church , went back to the oldest community in Königsberg. Only a memorial stone reminded of the former Nikolaus chapel from 1236 in the same place. At the beginning of the 14th century, a single-nave, plastered brick church with a closed choir was built above it. The three-winged altar with the paintings of the Königsberger painter Anton Möller was worth seeing . In the 17th / 18th In the 19th century it served as a parish church for the evangelical Lithuanians and Poles who had fled.

In 1523 the first Protestant sermon was held in the Old Town Church of St. Nicholas . The Catholic provost church (first after the Reformation ) was built in 1616. The Königsberg Mennonite Church (prayer house) was consecrated in 1770. The Old Synagogue was established as the first synagogue in December 1756. The Liberal Synagogue in Königsberg was inaugurated in 1896. The Jews played by their trade relations with the Jews in Russia an important role in the social welfare and the economic rise of the city in the 19th and 20th centuries.


After the capture by the Red Army , Königsberg had 15 pastors. The pastor of the Luther Church had already been shot in April 1945. In the course of 1945 six pastors died of starvation, including Pastor Reiss, who had still held the Pentecost liturgy in the Rothenstein camp . The two pastors Leopold Beckmann from the Ponarther Church and Ernst Müller from the Haberberger Trinitatis Church were murdered on the night way home from a community evening on February 12, 1946. Pastor Paul Knapp from the Tragheimer Kirche died of starvation in April 1946. Only six pastors were deported to the Soviet occupation zone between late October 1947 and autumn 1948 , including Hugo Linck and his wife on March 19, 1948.


In the Middle Ages , nobles and important officials were buried in the churches, citizens outside the church and finally in the square around the churches. In 1780, church burials were banned. A dog cemetery with small burial mounds, often with nameplates, was west of the Holländer Baum – Nordbahnhof railway and could be reached from Erlichshausenstrasse.

Cemeteries in the northeast
Cemeteries in the west
  • Old old town cemetery
  • Old Haberberg cemetery
  • Old Catholic cemetery
  • Old Kneiphöfsch cemetery
  • Old military cemetery (in front of the Königstor )
  • New military cemetery (in front of the Sackheimer Tor )
  • Altroßgärter Friedhof (I, II)
  • Old Town Cemetery (I – III)
  • German reformed cemetery, laid out in 1629 at the instigation of Duke Georg Wilhelm
  • Cathedral cemetery
  • French Reformed Cemetery
  • Cemetery of the free parish
  • Cemetery of the Tragheim community
  • Garrison cemetery (I, II)
  • Community cemetery (at the crematorium)
  • Israelite cemetery in Amalienau, west of the Fürstenschlucht
  • Catholic cemetery (Amalienau)
  • Municipal cemetery with crematorium in Rothenstein , 1913
  • Löbenichtscher Friedhof (I, II)
  • Löbenichtscher ref. graveyard
  • Luisen Cemetery (I, II)
  • New cemetery for the Haberberg Protestant community
  • New cemetery of the Haberberg Catholic community
  • New Israelite burial place
  • New Catholic cemetery
  • Neurossgärter Friedhof (I – III; 1817); the old part was the scholarly cemetery
  • Sackheimer Friedhof (I, II)
  • New Steindammer cemetery
  • Tragheimer Friedhof (I, II)


Rowing club Germania am Weidendamm , on the left the second corp house of Masovia

In the 19th and 20th centuries, clubs for different sports were established in Königsberg, with team sports such as football or hockey , rowing, sailing and equestrian sports playing a special role due to the local conditions.

SpVgg ASCO Koenigsberg
SV Concordia Koenigsberg
SV Prussia-Samland Koenigsberg
VfB Koenigsberg
Association of Königsberg Ball Game Clubs
Koenigsberg Rowing Club
The Rheing Club , the oldest sailing club in Germany, lives on in Hamburg
do gymnastics
Königsberg men's gymnastics club (1842), one of the oldest gymnastics clubs in Germany

food and drink



The first modern traffic route was the Chaussee to Berlin (later Reichsstrasse 1 ). In the following decades, the road network was extended towards Tilsit (1832), Gumbinnen (1835) and Labiau (1853). On December 3, 1938, the Elbing - Königsberg section of the Reichsautobahn Berlin-Königsberg was finally opened to traffic, but initially only single-lane in both directions. Numerous street names in the city center refer to the history of the city, both in connection with the settlement of craftsmen and from the history of the Hanseatic League.


Deutsche Reichsbahn: Timetable Berlin – Königsberg (1938/39)
Central Station

The first railway in East Prussia ran from Königsberg to Braunsberg on August 2, 1853 . In 1857 the Prussian Ostbahn was open to traffic all the way to Berlin. On October 1, 1867, the continuous railway line to Saint Petersburg was opened. In 1868 the East Prussian Southern Railway to Lyck and Prostken, built by private investors, was completed, which continued on the Russian side to Odessa . This railway company was nationalized in 1903.

During the German Empire, Königsberg was connected to the international express train line from Berlin via Königsberg and Wilna to Saint Petersburg, which ran on the Prussian Eastern Railway in the German part. The travel time from Berlin to Königsberg with express trains in 1914 was only around 8 hours.

Königsberg was the seat of a railway directorate of the Prussian State Railways , which was renamed " Reichsbahndirektion Königsberg " after the establishment of the Deutsche Reichsbahn . The city was also the seat of the East German Railway Company .

On September 19, 1929 the new Königsberg main station and a year later the new north station at Hansaplatz was opened. As the largest station of a non-state railway in the German Empire, it served the Samland Railway .

On January 22, 1945, the last train left Königsberg Hauptbahnhof before the capitulation in the direction of Berlin.


On May 26, 1881, the first standard-gauge horse tram ran in Königsberg . The electrification and change of gauge to meter gauge took place from 1895. On October 15, 1943 the first trolleybus line followed.


fish market

Königsberg's sea trade was served by the Lastadie am Hundegatt and the seaport of Pillau . Even today one can find numerous references to the old connection in other Hanseatic cities , for example in the Hamburg town hall . In the middle of the city, on the old town Pregelufer, was the fish market, which was supplied by sailing boats with catch from the Fresh Lagoon .

The Association for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People was founded in 1866 by Karl Heinrich Burow and Robert Kleyenstüber . The motor rescue ship stationed in Pillau was named "Consul Kleyenstüber".

The separation of East Prussia from the German Reich after the Treaty of Versailles made it necessary to develop the Königsberg port into an ocean port. Three harbor basins were created in Contienen , a commercial, an industrial and a timber port. For the "Island of East Prussia", sea and air traffic to the rest of the Reich was an important factor in economic life from 1920 to 1939.

Air traffic

On August 5, 1810, Eugene Robertson rose in a balloon from Palace Square; he ended up in Quanditten (Fischhausen district). In June 1906 a tethered balloon of the Berlin Association for Airship Travel with 15 people rose to a height of 300 m in the Tiergarten. Louis Blériot drove in Königsberg in 1913. In the same year the Zeppelin airship hangar was built in Klein Amalienau . The existing military airfield was converted into the civil Devau airport in 1919 , from which connections to Berlin, Stockholm and Moscow were maintained. Devau Airport was thus one of the very first airports ever and underlines the city's bridging function as a hub between East and West. When the new airship Graf Zeppelin came to visit on August 24, 1930, crowds of people poured into Devau.

Craft and economy

The exposed geographical location of Königsberg as the intersection of trade with Eastern Europe shaped the city's economic life. It began with the granting of market and city rights to the three settlements over 700 years ago and continued in the prominent position during the Hanseatic era. The guild system, the introduction of certain economic policy measures such as staple law and pound duty, and the political unification of the three cities in 1724 were the basis for a prosperous development. The industrial revolution and the associated modern traffic development continued to have a positive effect on Königsberg. These prerequisites in combination with the sustainable promotion of the city by the respective rulers led to Königsberg becoming an economic center of the eastern Baltic region.

Bell caster

The first bell founders were piece masters who manufactured guns in the electoral foundry . Nickel Schmiedchen worked as a bell founder around 1600 . The most famous bell founders were Michael Dormann and Hannibal Brors . As Mechanicus, Brors improved the casting process and invented mechanical tools to make ringing easier . From 1633 the Dormann family cast over 150 bells . Another bell founder was Andreas Dorling , attested in 1722/36 and 1742/65, presumably father and son. Jonas A. Bellmann from Elbingen made two bells for the Tragheim church in Königsberg . The Dormann workshop was continued by Johann Christian Copinus from Dresden . Ludwig Wilhelm Copinus (1765–1832) was a senior man of the bell caster and municipal fire inspector. His widow Wilhelmine Copinus continued the business from 1843 with E. Groß . Königsberg's last bell founder Johannes Groß continued to run the Copinus Nachf company . It supplied East and West Prussia with good bells and in 1855 cast the big bell on the castle tower (Königsberg) . In 1876 the name Johannes Groß disappeared from the bell register. No bells have been cast in Königsberg since then.


The dog husband and the Lastadie already achieved supraregional importance in the Middle Ages. In 1811 the administration of the port was transferred to the Königsberg merchants. Since 1840 there was a regular steamboat connection to Pillau and Danzig. In 1872 3741 ships were unloaded from the port. In 1901 the Königsberger Seekanal was opened. The shipyard halls were built in 1904 and the port expansion began in 1921. In 1924, a new seaport basin was created on the lower reaches of the Pregel. The main reason for this was the Polish corridor with its slow, trouble-prone border clearances. From a pure river port (Pregel) it has now become one of the most modern sea ports in the Baltic Sea. Three modern harbor basins were created, along with storage buildings and modern loading facilities. The new harbor basin III with its flat warehouses was used for general cargo traffic and was given a grain store on the west side in 1939/40. Harbor basin IV, where Europe's largest granary was built, was used exclusively for the grain trade, while harbor basin V, located in the far west, served the timber trade. The new port now had almost eight kilometers of quay walls, 160,000 square meters of shed and storage space, a cold store, tank systems, 30 mechanical cranes and a port station. The fairway was kept open by icebreakers even in the harshest winter. In the 1930s, the port was considered the most modern port in the Baltic Sea with 4210 ships unloaded in 1938. Nevertheless, seagoing ships up to 3000 GRT were still able to  sail across the entire city center to Feldmühle Sackheim on the new Pregel . Old Pregel could be reached by ocean-going ships right up to the wood-processing factories at the cattle market, but vegetable barges from the lowlands were also unloaded at the fish market and the Junkergarten .

The new Königsberg commercial, industrial, timber and free port, which comprised five large harbor basins, was considered to be with its modern grain stores (the largest in Europe), which enabled fast mechanical handling, cleaning, refinement and restacking of the grain most modern port in the Baltic Sea. The throughput of sea traffic in 1938 amounted to 3.9 million tons, the throughput of inland water traffic from Pregel, Deime, Großem Friedrichsgraben , Curonian Lagoon , Memel and the Masurian canals to 3,400 barges with 950,000 tons.

The stevedore house for the entire port operations was at Friedrichsburgstrasse 19, next to the old Friedrichsburg fortress.

German East Fair Königsberg (DOK)

The first German East Fair was opened in 1920 by President Friedrich Ebert . At first only agricultural capital and consumer goods were traded, but the DOK quickly developed into the second largest trade fair in the German Empire, after Leipzig. In addition to wholesaling, the trade in colonial goods , iron and iron goods, flax , hemp , hides, hides and leather, building materials and coal, textile goods and the wood and fuel trade were of great importance. Due to the success, the range is also expanded to include industrial goods. Following this additional approach, the House of Technology was built in 1925 . The DOK strengthened the economic ties between the exclave of East Prussia and the Reich and at the same time paved the way for the German economy to access the Eastern European markets. In 1930 there were 120,000 visitors, 2,500 of them foreigners. In 1937 the number of visitors rose to 204,000. The last fair took place in 1941.

Industry and commerce

In Königsberg, industry took a back seat to trade and transport. Nevertheless, some industries had developed in the city. The timber industry has always been of great importance to Königsberg. As a result, two large pulp mills were established. This included the sawmill and wood processing industry. The agricultural processing industry, agricultural machinery and wagon construction, shipyards, brickworks and a textile and machine industry also deserve mention. Königsberg produced two goods, whose trade relations extended to practically every country in the world: amber and marzipan. Smaller companies made articles of daily use and jewelry from amber. On the other hand, the state-owned amber manufacturer produced jewelry and carvings preferably from larger pieces of amber. The Königsberg marzipan as a delicate tea confectionary carried the city's name all over the world. The " Union Gießerei Königsberg " was the most important mechanical engineering company in the city. Königsberg was the seat of the East Prussian amber manufacture .

Service sector

Reichsbank headquarters, formerly
David Schindelmeißer's palace

The bookstore Gräfe und Unzer was well known . The Reichsbank was represented with a main office. Other banks were the mortgage bank of the East Prussian landscape , the Königsberger Vereinsbank (1871) and the Norddeutsche Creditanstalt (1895). Königsberg was the headquarters of the Nordstern (insurance company) .


The Königsberg telephone network was opened in 1883 with 25 subscribers. Eight years later (1891) there were already 563 connections, followed by 3,226 in 1908 and increased to 11,300 subscribers in 1928. From 1893, Königsberg was connected to Berlin by telephone. In 1893, 6,677 telephone operators were still handing calls a day; in 1928 the figure was 80–90,000. In the 1920s, the following self-affiliation offices were established :

  • “Amt Hindenburg” in Post Office 9 in Hindenburgstrasse
  • "Pregel Office" in Post Office 6 in Selkesstrasse (1926)
  • "Amt Schlossteich" in the telegraph office on Gesekusplatz (1930)



The Albertus University of Königsberg was one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking area. Connected to it was the outstanding state and university library in Königsberg . Its holdings included the traditional silver library and the Wallenrodt library . The Königsberg Art Academy and the Königsberg Commercial College also existed .


The Old Town High School , the Collegium Fridericianum and the Kneiphöfische Gymnasium were famous humanistic schools. The Prussian educational reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt presented the Königsberg school plan especially for them . Other secondary schools in the city were the Königliche Wilhelms-Gymnasium , the Königliche Hufengymnasium , the Städtische (Bessel-) Oberschule, the Hindenburg-Oberrealschule, the Burgschule , the Löbenichtsche Realgymnasium , the Körte-Schule , the Ostpreußische Mädchengewerbeschule and the Königin-Luise- School .


sons and daughters of the town

Honorary citizen of Koenigsberg

Königsberg's honorary citizens were: (in brackets year of the award)

Other personalities

  • Pavao Skalić (1534–1575), Croatian humanist, priest and polymath; Author of the first work, in whose title the word “ encyclopedia ” appears in its current meaning; lived in Koenigsberg.
  • Hugo Haase (1863-1919), East Prussian Social Democrat, lived and worked in Königsberg from around 1880 to 1911.
  • Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) grew up in Königsberg.


Königsberg was hit by severe fires:

  • 1262: North of the castle, the first settlement was burned down in the second Prussian uprising .
  • 1513: Kneiphof's suburb of St. Antonius, the Langgasser Bridge and all granaries burned down.
  • 1539: Big fire in Sackheim and Roßgarten , starting from a bakery.
  • 1756: Fire on Weißgerberstrasse, Vorderroßgarten, Kalthöfischen and Jägerhofstrasse
  • 1764: Fire in a sailmaker's wooden shack on the old town of Lastadie; Flying fire took hold of Löbenicht and Sackheim. Four churches, the Löbenicht town hall , the Pauperhaus , 369 houses and 49 granaries burned down. 27 dead, damage 5 million thalers. Friedrich II donated 205,000 thalers.
  • 1769: Fire in the suburbs, 76 houses, including the house of Immanuel Kant , and 143 granaries burned down. Damage 10 million thalers. Friedrich II donated 150,000 thalers. The Millionendamm was heaped out of the rubble on the meadow north of the pulling ditch.
  • 1775: Vorstadt and Haberberg fire. 988 buildings.
  • 1803: Fire at the New Garden, 26 houses and granaries as well as the Saturgus Garden burned down.
  • 1811: Large storage fire in the Kneiphof; 400 tons of oil and tar that have burst and burn on the water set numerous wits on fire. 144 houses, 134 granaries, 27,000 loads of grain, the green crane and the old synagogue went up in flames.
  • 1839: Fire of the old town Lastadie; Countless warehouses and ships as well as the Red Crane burned down.
  • 1845: 14 storage tanks burn down in the Kneiphöfische suburb.
  • 1944: Extensive destruction by the air raids on Königsberg

See also


Contemporary chronicles

Source editions

  • Theodor Hirsch , Max Toeppen , Ernst Strehlke: Scriptores Rerum Prussicarum. The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order. Volumes 1–5, Leipzig 1861–1874.
  • Klaus Scholz, Dieter Wojtecki: Peter von Dusburg. Chronicle of the Prussia. Translation and explanation . Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, ISBN 3-534-00604-6 ( Selected sources on the German history of the Middle Ages. Volume XXV).

Topographical-statistical summaries

  • Gustav Neumann : Geography of the Prussian State. 2nd edition, Volume 2, Berlin 1874, pp. 11-13, item 5.
  • Adolf Schlott: Topographical-statistical overview of the government district of Königsberg, according to official sources . Hartung, Königsberg 1861, pp. 123-140.
  • Leopold Krug : The Prussian Monarchy; presented topographically, statistically and economically. According to official sources . Part I: Province of Prussia . Berlin 1833, pp. 17–42.


  • Richard Armstedt : History of the royal capital and residence city of Königsberg in Prussia . Hobbing & Büchle, Stuttgart 1899.
  • Eberhard Beckherrn, Aleksej Dubatov: The Königsberg Papers. New documents from Russian archives. Fate of a German city. Langen Müller, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-7844-2479-1 .
  • Christopher Clark : Prussia. Rise and fall 1600–1947. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-421-05392-3 .
  • Karl Peter Faber : The capital and residence city of Königsberg in Prussia. The strangest thing in history. Description and chronicle of the city . Gräfe and Unzer, Königsberg 1840 ( full text ).
  • Karl Peter Faber: Paperback book from Königsberg . University bookstore, Königsberg 1829 ( full text ).
  • Kurt Falcke: The mayor of Königsberg. In: Prussia. 1 (1963), pp. 49-67.
  • Walter Franz : History of the city of Königsberg . Königsberg 1934. Reprinted in 1979.
  • Fritz Gause : Königsberg in Prussia. The story of a European city. Leer, Rautenberg 1987, ISBN 3-7921-0345-1 .
  • Fritz Gause: The history of the city of Königsberg in Prussia. 3 volumes, Böhlau, Cologne 1965–1971, reprint 1996, ISBN 3-412-08896-X .
    • Vol. 1: From the founding of the city to the last elector , 1965.
    • Vol. 2: From the coronation to the outbreak of the First World War , 1968.
    • Vol. 3: From World War I to the fall of Königsberg , 1971.
  • Gerhard von Glinski, Peter Wörster : Königsberg - The East Prussian capital in the past and present. Westkreuz-Verlag, Bad Münstereifel 2nd edition 1992, ISBN 3-922131-68-9 .
  • Anneliese Kreutz: The great death in Königsberg 1945-47. Arndt, Kiel 1988, ISBN 3-88741-137-4 .
  • Hans Graf von Lehndorff : East Prussian diary. Notes by a doctor from 1945–1947. 21st edition. Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-406-49641-7 ; Paperback edition dtv, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-30094-9 .
  • Jürgen Manthey : Königsberg - history of a world citizenship republic. Hanser, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-446-20619-1 .
  • Martin Schmidtke: Königsberg in Prussia. People and events 1255–1945 in the picture. Husum Verlag, Husum 1997, ISBN 3-88042-802-6 .
  • Heinz Schön : Königsberg fateful years. The fall of the capital of East Prussia 1944–1948 . Arndt Verlag, Kiel 2005, ISBN 3-88741-053-X .
  • Stefanie Schüler-Springorum : The Jewish minority in Königsberg, Prussia, 1871–1945 . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1996, ISBN 3-525-36049-5 .
  • Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau 1990, ISBN 3-7930-0588-7 .
  • Caspar Stein: The old Königsberg. A detailed description of the three cities of Königsberg including their suburbs and freedoms as they were in 1644. In: Association for Family Research in East and West Prussia (ed.): Special publications of the Association for Family Research in East and West Prussia , No. 91 (reprint of the Königsberg 1911 edition), Association for Family Research in East and West Prussia, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-931577-14-7 .
  • Christian Tilitzki : Everyday Life in East Prussia 1940–1945. The secret protocols of the Königsberg judiciary. Flechsig-Verlag, Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-88189-481-0 .
  • Christian Tilitzki: The Königsberg Kant tradition 1904–1945. Yearbook for the History of Central and Eastern Germany 50 (2004), pp. 191–287.
  • Wulf D. Wagner : The Königsberg castle. A building and cultural history. Volume 1: From the foundation to the government of Friedrich Wilhelm I (1255–1740). Schnell + Steiner, Regensburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-7954-1936-3 ( Publications of the Museum Stadt Königsberg 5), (Also: Karlsruhe Univ. Diss. 2005).
  • Wulf D. Wagner, Heinrich Lange: The Königsberg castle. A building and cultural history. Volume 2: From Frederick the Great to the Demolition (1740–1967 / 68). The fate of his collections after 1945. Schnell + Steiner, Regensburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-7954-1953-0 .
  • Wulf D. Wagner: The Königsberg Castle / Kaliningrad. In: Schnell: Kunstführer. No. 2711, Regensburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-7954-6787-6 .
  • Wulf D. Wagner (Red.): Journey through Königsberg and East Prussia in 1000 pictures. Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-941557-25-3 .
  • Johann Christian Wutzke : Remarks about the water pipes in the city of Königsberg . In: Prussian provincial sheets . Volume 17, Königsberg 1837, pp. 211-221 and pp. 309-321.

Web links

Commons : Königsberg (Prussia)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Königsberg (Prussia)  - Sources and full texts


  1. In a conversation with the Moscow broadcaster Echo Moskwy on May 9, 2009, the head of the Kaliningrad municipal administration, Felix Felixowitsch Lapin, expressed the wish that the city should be called "Kjonigsberg" (jo = ö) and the administrative district "Prussia".
  2. The name Millionendamm mourns the destroyed millions.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Herbert Meinhard Mühlpfordt : Königsberg from A to Z. A city lexicon , 2nd edition. Munich 1976
  2. ^ Hartmut Boockmann : East Prussia and West Prussia . Siedler Verlag, 1992, ISBN 3-88680-212-4 , p. 82 .
  3. ^ Theodor Hirsch , Max Toeppen , Ernst Strehlke : Scriptores rerum Prussicarum . The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order . Volume 3, p. 560.
  4. ^ Theodor Hirsch, Max Toeppen, Ernst Strehlke: Scriptores rerum Prussicarum. The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order . Volume 1, p. 103.
  5. Hartmut Boockmann : Königsberg . In: LexMA . tape 5 . J. B. Metzler, 1999, ISBN 3-423-59057-2 , Sp. 1326 .
  6. a b c d e f g h i Robert Albinus: Königsberg Lexikon , Würzburg 2002, ISBN 3-88189-441-1 .
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Coordinates: 54 ° 44 '  N , 20 ° 29'  E